Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies from Scratch
Chocolatey, chewy and fudgy, these easy red velvet crinkle cookies are the perfect holiday treat. The dusting of powdered sugar gives them a snowy appearance while the cracks reveal a gorgeous red hue. Serve these scrumptious cookies with hot chocolate.
Get in the festive mood by baking these red velvet crinkle cookies from scratch! A spin on my classic chocolate crinkle cookies, this red velvet version is perfect for Christmas and Valentine’s Day. They are so fun to make and even more fun to eat! I love adding them to my holiday cookie plate.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Soft and chewy texture. Chilling the dough guarantees the perfect texture that is oh-so-satisfying to bite into!
- Distinctive red velvet taste. A bit of cocoa powder and distilled white vinegar guarantee the unique flavor red velvet is known for.
- Perfect for various holidays. Be it Christmas, Valentine’s Day or the Fourth of July, you will find a reason to bake these cookies!
- Beautiful appearance. One of the reasons crinkle cookies are so popular is for their looks! It’s a bonus that it requires very little effort to achieve that crinkle effect.
- Unsalted butter: Make sure that the butter is at room temperature when preparing this recipe to achieve the best cookie texture.
- Red food coloring: Use good quality food coloring gel to give the cookies their deep, beautiful red velvet color.
- Cocoa powder: Select good quality cocoa powder for a delicious chocolatey flavor. Sift the cocoa powder to remove lumps.
- White vinegar: This is an essential ingredient in this recipe as it reacts with the baking soda and helps to leaven the cookies. It also provides that unique red velvet flavor.
- Powdered sugar: Also known as confectioners’ sugar, this is used to coat the cookies.
Refer to the recipe card for ingredient details and measurements.
Add some mix-ins! If you are a chocolate lover then feel free to add 1 cup semisweet, dark or white chocolate chips to the cookie dough after combining the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.
Make cookie sandwiches. Pair up the cookies according to size, add frosting to the bottom of one cookie and press the matching cookie on top to make a sandwich! I suggest cream cheese frosting to complement the red velvet.
Change the coloring. Instead of red, try green for St. Patrick’s Day or blue for Hannukah!
Make a small batch. Simply cut all the ingredient in half to yield only 10 cookies.
How to Make Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
- Whisk dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Mix wet ingredients: Beat together butter, sugar and brown sugar for 3 to 4 minutes or until light and fluffy. Next, add eggs, one at a time, and mix well each time.
- Add the vanilla, vinegar and red food gel and mix until incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Chill the dough: Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 48 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350° F: As the dough chills, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven.
- Prepare the dough: Shape it into 1-inch balls and place them on a prepared baking sheet. Make sure they are about 1 1⁄2 inches apart so that they don’t stick together. Once the baking sheet is full, roll the balls in confectioners’ sugar and place them back on the baking sheet.
- Bake cookies: Add cookies to the preheated oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Leave them to cool for 5 minutes then transfer them to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.
Make sure the ingredients are at room temperature. To achieve the perfect fudgy, chewy texture the butter and eggs must be at room temperature before mixing all of the ingredients.
Use a kitchen scale to weigh the ingredients. This is the most accurate method for measuring ingredients. If you don’t have a scale, be sure to spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level with a knife (don’t pack it down).
Chill the dough. This crucial step prevents the dough from spreading too much and creates a chewy texture. Don’t skip this step!
Be generous when coating the cookie dough balls in the confectioners’ sugar. You want a thick coat so it doesn’t dissolve into the dough while baking (I usually do two coats). If the dough gets too warm when rolling into balls, place the balls in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before adding the sugar coating and baking.
Don’t over-bake. If you want a gooey, fudgy center, slightly under-bake the cookies. The edges should be set, but the centers still soft.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
Store crinkle cookies by placing them in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days.
Freeze the dough in an airtight container or wrap it in plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Defrost the dough in the refrigerator before rolling it into balls and baking. You can also freeze baked cookies after they have cooled. Wrap in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Make ahead the dough and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. You can also freeze the dough balls for 1 month. Roll in sugar prior to baking from frozen for 12 to 14 minutes.
It is likely the dough was too warm or overworked from using warm hands while rolling into balls. It is important to work quickly. If you notice the dough is too warm, then pop the baking sheet into the fridge for 10 minutes before baking to prevent this.
Leavening agents, such as baking soda and baking powder, give the cookies their notorious crinkle effect. Check that they are fresh and not expired. In addition, generously coating the cookie dough in sugar also helps to achieve a cracked look.
The sugar may have dissolved into the dough before baking. To prevent this make sure that there is enough sugar on each cookie dough ball (I usually do two coats).
Give these recipes a try if you like red velvet desserts and crinkle cookies.
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Get the Recipe: Easy Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
- 1 ¾ cups (218 g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (25 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (113 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (50 g) light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon red gel food coloring , (see notes)
- 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer, combine butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Add vanilla, vinegar and red food coloring, and mix until combined, about 1 minute scraping down the sides as necessary.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour cocoa mixture. Mix just until combined.
- Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet about 1 1⁄2 inches apart. Once the baking sheet is full, roll the balls in confectioners’ sugar and place back on the baking sheet.
- Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are set and the cookies look cracked. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.